What are practical ways to change the anti-gay bias of evangelical Christians?
Rick Brentlinger Answers -
Here are some suggestions for action.
- Start a blog or website to advocate your views. Blogger and Wordpress are free.
- Set up a Google alert for buzz words like gay, lesbian, homosexual, malakoi, arsenokoites, gay marriage, etc. Google will provide links to current blog posts which use those words and you can then post on the Blog advocating your views and linking to your Blog or website.
- Write a letter to the editor advocating your views. Save the letter and send the same letter to newspapers as an Op-Ed piece. It helps to include your Ph.D. credentials because Op-Ed editors will view your opinion as more authoritative.
- Email online denominational magazines and websites with reasons to reconsider their anti-gay position.
- Join an activist group or start an activist group and participate in their demonstrations and events. You could picket their 'Pray Away The Gay Conferences' although that may be counterproductive to your goal of encouraging them to change their position.
- Organize and host public debates with anti-gay evangelicals. Film your debates and post them on your Youtube channel. Its free to have your own Youtube channel. Advertise your Youtube channel on your Blog or website.
- Write, call, email or contact in person the churches in your area which oppose gay rights. Take an anti-gay pastor out to lunch. Build friendships with anti-gay pastors and dialogue with them to increase their exposure to views they oppose and with which they may be unfamiliar.
"A man that has friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother." -Proverbs 18:23, American KJV
- Run Craigslist ads in cities which have evangelical or fundamentalist colleges and universities. Make contact with their students who are gay but closeted. Offer prayer support, spiritual support, website links and printed books for closeted gays in evangelical colleges.
- Join evangelical Christian message boards and debate them on their own turf, if they will permit that. Some will, some won't.
- Request time on your local access cable channel to present your views and/or hold a debate with anti-gay ministers.
- Film short videos presenting your views and challenging anti-gay evangelicals to change their views. Post the videos on your own Youtube channel.
- Prepare speeches advocating acceptance of gays and lesbians and join a public speaker's bureau. You could be a breakfast or luncheon guest speaker for local civic groups, for local jr. high and high schools, for community colleges and for colleges, universities and churches.
- Start a Facebook and Myspace group. Both have millions of gay and lesbian members and you may be able to build consensus there for your efforts to change bigotry and bias.
If anyone has additional ideas for effecting change, Click here to jump to the "Post Comments" link and add your suggestions. Many thanks!
Remember that we are in a spiritual battle. That means that in the final analysis, only the Holy Spirit can change their minds and cause them to believe the truth.
Since this is a burden on your heart, perhaps the Holy Spirit will use you to bring about the change you desire.
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" -2 Cor 10:3-5, KJV
Related Links How can we build bridges of trust with non-gay Christians?Is there any evidence of an actual gay marriage in the Bible?Does becoming a Christian make you heterosexual?
Kevin's original question
"Rick, several weeks ago I asked you how Gay Christians should try to change the non-biblical ideas and bigotry in the church at large. I've had some time to think about your answer. I hope I'm accurate in my recap recap of your answer.
You said that we (gay christians) need to be an example of believers who are loving and consistent in our walk with the Lord. I hope that accurately sums up your response.
I will say at the onset there is some hurt, anger and frustration at what I've observed and experienced over the last three years since I came out. I want to base my comments on my observations of the actions of those brothers and sisters in Christ.
As a child of the 50s going through the teen years in the 60s, I experienced all the turmoil and change that was taking place in the social conscience of our society and the cobwebbed cathedrals of fundamentalist churches.
I marched with my Mother in protests against racial inequality. I was one of very few whites who worked for an African American owned company and counted a black man as my best friend. These were not great leaps of courage for me but rather the upbringing of parents that lived racial equality.
I said all that, to say, change never just happens. People will follow the status quo unless something or someone throws a monkey wrench in the works. I believe that our American society would still deny African Americans their rights had it not been for a pastor like Dr. Martin Luther King.
I believe the Reformation would have not occurred had it not been for Martin Luther King's name sake, Martin Luther. I also believe that gay Christians can not expect change simply by being good boys and girls and living for the Lord.
Christianity will be perfectly comfortable sitting in their air conditioned ivory towers on padded pews, watching their large screen monitors and letting Christianity stagnate.
Both Martin Luther and Dr. Martin Luther King set out to fight a giant. They risked hatred, gossip and even death for their beliefs. First century Christianity was very radical. Jesus and the Twelve were very radical. That set them far apart from religion.
They were never accused of being like the religious establishment. They were never confused with the hypocrisy of the religious leaders. However, today that is exactly the problem in Christianity. The gay Community views them (biblical christianity) as just more hateful religious people. They can't see the love of a family based on faith in the shed blood of our Jesus.
Nor can they experience the Agape (Godly love) of brothers and sisters in Christ. They see a so called family filled with rejection and hatred. The gay community sees condemnation not forgiveness.
I ask again, What do we need to do to effect change. My dad use to say. "Change peoples mind and and God will change their hearts and that will change the world." "Dad," I'm trying to change their minds, in love. That's the meaning of REPENT, to change your mind."